Sunday, January 4, 2009

Though I have not mailed out regular family newsletters, I have dashed off notes to Benjamin almost on a weekly basis. I compiled those messages between the middle of September this year and the end of 2008 and they follow:

16 September 2008
Last Friday was our ward activity – a Karaoke. Daddy B.J. sang two duets with Matt Bassett – one as a seranade to Matt’s mom.
Daddy B.J. loved his birthday. He agreed to a 5 year lease the day before on the building kitty-corner from Dr. Redd’s new office. Daddy’s office is on the Northwest corner of 11th and Park Ave. It was a bank at one time. He chose for us the spend his birthday there cleaning. Well, he patched nail holes in the walls and painted and I scraped the old lettering off the doors and washed windows. I did make chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting for him. I also found a kind of “ice cream” made with soy milk instead of cow milk. So, he was able to eat it without aching in every muscle from the milk products allergy he has developed. We also watched the end of a UofW football game. They lost horribly to Oklahoma (Gramma Korb would have been proud). We subscribed to TV again so Daddy B.J. could watch football and keep up with the political campaigns this fall. We have had it about a month and watched it less than a total of four hours so far.
I also made Daddy B.J. a special birthday dinner – steak and salad with crab. He ate it while he watched the game.
Leah Pierson had to spend two days in Seattle for job training so she can upgrade her employment. So I had her two boys and Patrick Leyerle, who now lives with them, from 6:00 AM Sunday morning till about 7:30 PM Monday night. It went well but certainly made me grateful to be an “empty-nester”. Caring for kids is tough.

30 September 2008
Getting everything set up at Daddy B.J.’s new office is taking a lot of time. I am the “gopher” [I go for most of the small things that must be done]. I made four trips out to the Anytime lock and key business before we were able to get duplicate keys that work. I have spent time scanning thrift stores for office furnishings and have helped Daddy B.J. muscle furnishings there. It takes a good bit of time setting up Internet, phone service, and filling out paper work of all kinds.
We are hosting another new ward member open house after general conference Sunday and it has taken time to prepare the postcard invitations that I will be posting when I mail this note off to you.
We enjoyed a trip to Bellingham on the 24th. We took Michael, Jenna, and Anna Kate out to lunch that day, which was Michael’s birthday.

October 3, 2008
At church Phil Sutton is Daddy B.J.’s executive secretary. He sets appointments for people wanting interviews with the bishop. Besides that he is also working with Daddy B.J. at his business. He has had an insurance license for years because of his work with funeral homes and clients working through life insurance claims to process funeral arrangements. He actually will be working with funeral trusts now. Beyond that he is also acting as a sort of executive secretary getting the business license set up and working with city inspectors to see that everything is ship shape. For instance he was told that all fire extinguishers had to be inspected yearly. He knew that it was cheaper to go to Costco and buy new ones than to go through the re-certification process, so he did.
Daddy B.J. is presiding at the funeral for Gene (Kurt) Mosbarger this evening, so I am taking our car-load of people to the temple for ward temple night by myself. Gene was a great grandson to the elderly woman, Louise Mosbarger, who lived on the northeast corner of 8th and Naval when we lived at 2127 8th Street across from Naval Avenue School. Gene was a huge gruff man. He rode a motorized wheelchair down the streets all over Bremerton for the last several years of his life.
Last night I made 5 batches of brownies (1 for the funeral) and 2 batches of yellow cupcakes. Today I will start sloppy Joes and salads. These are for a new member get-to-gather that will be at our home after the closing session of general conference Sunday. I have kept all the hamburgers, hot dogs and buns left over the our ward picnic in August in our chest freezer and it will be good to clear them out of there. Any left-overs can go to our 2-Ward dinner next Friday night by way of my freezer again. That being the case, I hope we have a lot of recent move-ins and newly baptized families come with huge appetites so there won’t be anything left.
I’m off now to take a bunch of things down to Daddy B.J. at his new business office. After the new carpets are installed I will take some pictures.

15 October 2008
David and Fatima have asked me to tend their girls on Wednesdays when they go to the Univ. Of Wash. to attend classes that will lead to masters of medical administration for both of them. As part of that I take them to an art class in Silverdale, listen to Adryann read for at least 20 minutes and take them home to put them to bed at bedtime. They generally arrive between three an five o’clock so we do various fun things to fill the time. Last night I colored vanilla pudding pink, orange, and green for them to finger paint on butcher paper. They devised their own decorations from the salt and pepper at the table. The salt sort of sparkled. Adryann’s was so thick in places that it will take days to dry.
This evening the BYU Ballroom dancers will be performing at the Brem. High performing arts center. Since we are again hosting a couple of them overnight and delivering them to the Silverdale Stake Center with breakfast and a sack lunch taken care of we will be given two free tickets. The dancers are coming directly from China where they competed in the World Fair, so they should be outstanding. Unfortunately for me Daddy B.J. can’t accompany me because fortunately for him he will be going to the temple on a new member baptism for the dead temple trip.
Last Friday we had a 2-ward potluck dinner. We had a good turnout. I made up a number of posters with cute sayings as decorations for the potluck and mailed them to Benjamin afterwards.
Gramma Toni drove up Saturday and I spent all day with her. David and Fatima brought their girls by and visited for a while in the evening. She drove home to Sunday morning. Her work schedule didn’t allow a longer visit.
I’ve worked a lot framing historic pictures for Daddy B.J.’s office. First I checked out all kinds of Washington history books from the library and looked through them for interesting pictures. Then I scanned, decided the frames to use, sized the printouts accordingly and then assembled them.

October 21, 2008
Sunday our Relief Society lesson was on the letters Joseph Smith wrote to his wife. I was assigned part of the lesson and I told them about the letter list that Benjamin sees as he enters the lunchroom on mail day and how much he enjoys seeing a check by his name and knowing he will be getting a letter. I wanted the sisters to appreciate how important letters can be to family members, who are separated. Joseph Smith wrote some of his letters from jail. So Benjamin could identify with that.
I have a lot to do on our personal accounting work to do now. I am grateful for the time the computer saves me on keeping good records – like receipts for internet purchases, calculating – for instance tithing, and keeping an eye on finances – for example using internet banking sites.

October 28, 2008
Last week we received an excited and exciting call from Adam. A reporter from the Provo Herald newspaper had interviewed him and it led to the leading article in the sports section the day before UNLV played BYU. I was able to tune in the game with the KSL Internet broadcast site for the 2nd half. The game was not decided till the last seven seconds of the game. Adam was on the sidelines again but it had to be exciting for him anyway. I must say that if any team they play has to beat them, I am glad it is my alma meter.
Jernon mentioned that Benjamin would enjoy hearing more about his nieces and nephews. Last Wednesday David and Fatima asked me to pick up Adryann and BrynneƩ from their school. We failed to make arrangements for me to get the key to their house, so the girls eventually ended up falling asleep here before their parents reclaimed them. Before their weekly art class we went to the Silverdale Waterfront park for a while. It was a gloriously sunny day so I took pictures of the twins and sent printouts of some to Benjamin so he could see how they have grown.
Sunday was our last linger-longer potluck dinner after church till 2010, so that responsibility is met for now. Yesterday I finally sorted through the boxes of books, videos, etc. that were Granddad Bill Gent’s and which Gramma Toni brought up for us three weeks ago. I have been organizing our bookshelves today but took a break to write to Benjamin.

11 November 2008 - Veteran’s Day
I took Daddy B.J. to the airport yesterday morning with President Anderson to fly to Grand Rapids Michigan – by way of Atlanta, Georgia, which is not the shortest but which was the least expensive way I could find. They will return Thursday morning. After dropping Daddy B.J., I met a friend of Brian Ross’s in Tacoma. Brian is your cousin Tina’s son. He left two duffle bags and an extra backpack at Ft. Lewis when he was deployed. His friend was scheduled to follow him in a week or so but it was fortunate for Brian’s gear that the friend was left behind. Tina phoned me last week about picking it up for him. It went into our attic.
We went to the temple last Friday night on a ward temple trip. Afterwards we swung back to Seattle and picked up a pick-up truck for a young lady who is on the USS Stennis, which is away from port. She left her truck with a girl friend, who decided to return to Montana and left the truck with someone else. Falina wasn’t confident that it would be a good situation for her truck so she contacted me by email about bringing her vehicle over here as soon as possible.
I have one more request to take care of now. Nathan asked me to go to the attic and try to find his mission planner books. He will be going to Guatemala during the Christmas holidays and wants the names and addresses of folks he has in the planners.
This morning a furnace service man came and did some routine maintenance on our furnace. After putting 230 gallons in our tank last week we wanted to have the furnace running as efficiently as possible.
There were three pumpkins left that Daddy B.J. grew in his garden this year. So I baked them this morning. I will make pumpkin cupcakes for our ward activity Friday night and for the 24 sack lunches, which I have been assigned to put together for the Bishop’s Retreat on Saturday. The group will include the bishops and stake presidency from our stake and their wives.

November 19, 2008
I am taking care of a lot of small things and never seeming to get to the really big matter of writing a real family newsletter. My notes to Benjamin are about all the writing I get done.
Sunday evening we picked up Michael Pierson. He had been “holed up” in his room all week and wouldn’t go to school or seminary or church. He was playing games at night on his computer and then wouldn’t get up of a day. In other words he is addicted to video games and it was ruining his life. He has no electronic toys here and therefore is doing all we ask of him. After school Monday he raked leaves with me cleaning up about 2/3 of the back yard. We worked till the early darkness fell - that comes with Standard time. Then since Daddy B.J. was doing a seminar so Michael and I did a family home evening with just the two of us. Michael picked the songs. We sang “I Am a Child or God” for the opening song and he looked through the hymnal till he found his very favorite song, “Because I have been Given Much” for the closing. We watched a video-tape of Granddad Bill Gent’s –“Legacy” and read section 135 of the Doctrine & Covenants for our lesson and then bore our testimonies to each other. It was Michael’s turn for the closing prayer and he thanked Heavenly Father for the wonderful day we had.
Yesterday Michael walked to Daddy B.J.’s office at 11th and Park and stayed with him the rest of the work day before heading over to church for scouts. I had visiting teaching appointments – my last for the month.
This morning Daddy B.J. asked me to go to the church with him to help him pick a bishop’s name off the church administration CD, because he needs to check out a lady, who called for assistance last night. Bishop’s have an excellent network for pooling information. We went to the church in time for Michael to attend seminary. I practiced on the grand piano in the chapel, which is always a delight till the end of seminary, when Daddy B.J. drove me home. Then while he returned to his business office I crashed for a nap. I hope he is able to catch a nap later today because he is exhausted. The sun is shining brightly, so I planned to head straight out to rake more leaves. Then David called and asked me to write up a description of the misery he went through with that car accident two years ago. I went to my journal and found a couple brief paragraphs and then ad libbed. David said he wants the letter for his attorney, so I guess the legal process from the accident is still going on.
Then I decided to dash off a note to Benjamin. Next Tuesday morning about 4:00 AM we will leave for the airport and our Thanksgiving family reunion in Nevada. We arrive in Las Vegas about noon. We won’t return till next month – December 1st to be precise.
Friday the 14th was our Ward Talent show and Cultural Arts Fair. Bro. Jasinski is an internationally recognized artist and has his own studio and gallery. Brother Spindler built his own armor for historical re-enactment. Crystal Sutton’s shared charcoal drawings. Daddy B.J.’s owl collection was our contribution to the cultural arts portion of the program.

December 4, 2008
I especially enjoyed that on his work release job Benjamin was helping to build a modular classroom, that was ordered for use as a classroom in Pahrump. Small world!
I have all the Christmas decorations sitting in boxes all over the upstairs just waiting for me to put them out. But, I feel responsible for our ward’s turn out for volunteers helping at the Stake Nativity Exhibit coming Saturday and I have spent many hours today on the phone trying to get ten people lined up. It hasn’t been easy because our ward has a youth temple baptism and ward temple day and new-member temple baptism trip all scheduled for the same morning. Scheduling conflicts happen.

December 9, 2008
Jernon’s family is visiting Benjamin in prison She sent me an email and said how much they were enjoying the visits. Benjamin wrote and told me how wonderful those visits are for him.
Last Saturday was the stake’s Nativity Exhibit. There were over 370 nativities volunteered including 13 from us. Yes, we actually have a few more but since we returned from Thanksgiving late on December1st this year and they were due at the stake center on the 2nd, we barely had time to take our Christmas decorations out of the attic and locate the nativities we took. Since I was in Utah from December 24th through January 27th last year for baby Zion to be born, friends put away most of the decorations and that made the search just a bit more difficult. Our ward was given the assignment of having volunteers staff the exhibit from 10:30 AM till 1:15 PM. It was absolutely beautiful. I worked in the children’s rooms. I was in the one with touchable nativities. These included a rubber ducky nativity, a veggie tale (a popular children’s TV show) nativity, some by Fisher-Price toys, and some puzzles both traditional cardboard and wooden. One corner had a basket of nativity puppets. The two other children’s rooms were for dress-up in nativity costumes and crafts.
At 4:00 PM was the baptism for Denny Marshall. His wife was one of my counselors when I served as Relief Society president and she in now on the visiting teaching route for my sister and me. Daddy B.J. baptized him at his request. He had open-heart surgery at the beginning of November. That got him to finally face his smoking addiction. He has had a testimony for at least several years but had too much integrity to be baptized until he quit cigarettes.
At 8:00 PM I was due back at the stake center to pack up my own nativities and one for John and Cindy Davis, who couldn’t come for their own. The nativity heads made a plea for take-down assistance that morning so I stayed to help with that.
Sunday morning I made up the activity reminders to stuff into the day’s program and went to church early to print it up and cut it apart- four to a page – and attend choir practice. When Sis left town she asked me to take Rita Kerner to church. She had a stroke eight years ago and now lives at the Dunes Motel, which is between the Galbraith house and Burger King. She uses a wheelchair but can walk short distances with a cane. She doesn’t have the stamina to attend more than Sacrament Meeting, but I couldn’t take her home this week since I was substituting in Primary so the missionaries arranged a ride home for her. My lesson to the 9-10 year olds was about Moroni and the 36 years of solitude he endured while completing the Book of Mormon. I found a piece of tin at Vinnie’s, struggled to cut it into pieces with my tin-snips and taped up the edges with duct tape and passed out nails for the children to engrave, Now, I Moroni… in their pieces.
We set up the equipment to watch the First Presidency Christmas message on the big screen in the chapel but Daddy B.J. was exhausted so I watched it twice without him along with the hour of Tabernacle Choir songs broadcast in between. Then I took the equipment down and put it into our bishop’s office.
Life is busy but I am happy in all I do.

December 17, 2008
The Sunday we visited in Pahrump at Thanksgiving was a 5th Sunday so the Melchizedek Priesthood and Relief Society were combined for their lesson the third hour of the block. The bishopric were the speakers and their goal was to made this Christmas season more centered on Jesus Christ. In Joseph Gent’s portion of the presentation he read the story of “The Current Bush” by President Hugh B. Brown, who served in the First Presidency with David O. McKay. Joseph prepared a beautiful power point presentation with great Christmas pictures and inspirational quotes. Will made a copy of Joe’s slide show on a little flash drive so Daddy B.J. could bring it home. Daddy then used it at our Ward Christmas Celebration. All the members of the activities committee sang Jingle Bells and shook bells while we sang. The Bishopric read the Christmas story from Luke 2 and Mathew 2 while the Primary children acted out the nativity. I made the costumes – from thrift store finds. Actually the sheep and a star were the only props I added this year.
Sunday evening Dec. 14th I attended the stake Christmas concert. I took an elderly sister (82) from our ward. Her eyesight restricts her now but she was a terrific pianist and organist for decades. We enjoyed the beautiful numbers performed by our stake choir. The decorations in the chapel were as spectacular as the music. – garlands, bells, poinsettias, many clear Christmas lights, and a large nativity set.
Monday I finally finished most of the decorating inside our home. This morning I added one more picture. Many years ago you sent us a Christmas card, which I finally framed. It unfolded to 7”X18” and I found a great frame for it yesterday at Vinnie’s
Yesterday I went visiting teaching on one of my routes and made fudge to take. As soon as I finish this note to you I will make a batch of Carmel Corn from the recipe, which Gramma Toni shared with me. It will be the treat I deliver today.
The weatherman prophesied snow for later today, but he has been saying that for over a week. If you can judge a tree by it’s fruits, you definitely shouldn’t trust a weatherman. We did get about ½ inch last Friday during the night, but it didn’t even stick on the streets, so we were OK. The temperature has hovered close to the freezing mark. The Manette Ward cancelled their church meetings last Sunday, but we forged ahead.
On the ooops scale I scored last night. While putting costumes and empty boxes into the attic to be retrieved later, I broke down a section of our bedroom ceiling – putting my foot through it. I wasn’t harmed but it was such a waste of time to have to spend the next hour cleaning up the sheetrock and insulation that spilled down. I tacked up a large garbage bag to contain fallout and slow down the escape of warm air up the hole. Unfortunately the hole will remain an eyesore till Daddy B.J. has time for repairs – maybe next summer.


Ruth Sutton said...

I love your blog mom! I'm excited to see more coming. Keep up the good work. Love ya tons and tons.

Linda said...

Welcome to the world of blogging. I will put you in my family favorites so we can keep up with your news. For me it is a way of self-expression--very therapeutic!